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A Kinder, Gentler Copy Protection for Red Alert 3

By - Source: Tom's Hardware | B 31 comments
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Although some gamers may still reject Red Alert 3 because of the copy protection software, news of a gentler SecuROM may ease the minds of concerned consumers.

After all the hoopla surrounding the recently-released Spore PC game and its lovable DRM restrictions last week, EA has perked up its ears to the consumer backlash. According to a recent post by Executive Producer Chris Corry over on the EA forums, the upcoming RTS game Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 will still feature SecuROM, but will not be quite as restrictive.

"Red Alert 3 is shaping up to be a world-class RTS game that will give you many hours of enjoyment," says Chris Corry in his forum post. "I think it would be a shame if people decided to not play a great game simply because it came with DRM, but I understand that this is a very personal decision for many of you and I respect that. As you might imagine, I’m a lot less respectful of those people who take the position that they will illegally download a game simply because it has DRM. Either way, we’re very proud of the hard work our team has put into this game, and we hope you will all enjoy it when it launches."

The biggest "improvement" consumers will encounter with Red Alert 3 (in comparison to Spore’s limitations) is the ability to install the game on five computers, not three. This means that consumers have up to five installations; anything beyond that will need re-authorization by EA Customer Service. Although the consumer will still need an internet connection in order to authenticate the game, Red Alert 3 can still be played offline "without impediment or penalty," and will not re-authenticate after the initial installation. Consumers will also be able to Play Red Alert 3 without the physical disk in the drive.

Set in the 1950s, the story takes place in a parallel universe where World War II never occurred, and Joseph Stalin leads a power-hungry Soviet Union. Red Alert 3 is the latest in the series since the release of Yuri’s Revenge back in 2001. Currently EA plans to ship Red Alert 3 on October 27 for Windows-based PCs and the Xbox 360 console.

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  • 9 Hide
    mickey21 , September 15, 2008 11:02 PM
    How is this better? We already knew this limitation was going to be left to 5 installs... I have bought (sometimes multiple times even), played, hosted large LAN parties to, and enjoyed the entire line of games from the C&C universe (minus Renegade, that just sucked), but C&C 3 - Kane's Wrath may have been my last.

    I will NEVER by a game that succumbs to treating me like a thief and leaves me no recourse should the developer/distributer go bellyup. I buy a game to play it and with how many times I redo my Windows Installation, I wont be hassled.

    Until the DRM is removed, I wont be buying this game along with a lot of others I know and boycotting it's play at all the hosted LAN's. SecuROM DRM will not make the pirate's out there stop much less slow down, why am I going to be treated worse as a paying customer. And here I thought C&C3 was a shout in the direction of progress for the franchise, looks like Red Alert 3 wants to become the wimper... Oh well... My vote is dont buy dont play, anyone else?
  • 9 Hide
    megamanx00 , September 15, 2008 11:07 PM
    I'll buy it when

    1) I can run it in a virtual machine so I don't have to worry about getting rid of SecureROM

    2) When it's in the bargin bin since I'm not paying $60 for something I can only install a few times. I upgrade my computer all the time as well as installing and uninstalling games as I feel the urge to play them.
  • 1 Hide
    fulle , September 16, 2008 12:08 AM
    ^Yeah... sort of poor reaction time on the article. The link referenced is for forum posts that were from September 8th. I'm not sure why it took a week to report this.
  • 8 Hide
    onearmedscissorb , September 16, 2008 12:08 AM
    What a bunch of idiots. Despite the fact that Spore is already set to become the most pirated game of all time, RA3 will probably eclipse it because of this.
  • 7 Hide
    kyeana , September 16, 2008 12:10 AM
    What a joke. When will these people learn...
  • 5 Hide
    Anonymous , September 16, 2008 12:58 AM
    ^_^ oh well... .exe crack anyone?
  • 6 Hide
    Anonymous , September 16, 2008 1:15 AM
    Wow 5 that means we are still renting the game when will these idiots get it No more secru rom
  • 2 Hide
    chaohsiangchen , September 16, 2008 1:18 AM
    Megamanx00I'll buy it when1) I can run it in a virtual machine so I don't have to worry about getting rid of SecureROM2) When it's in the bargin bin since I'm not paying $60 for something I can only install a few times. I upgrade my computer all the time as well as installing and uninstalling games as I feel the urge to play them.


    I used to think virtualization is not feasible for home use. I am so wrong, and thank you for enlighten me on this one. Time to get a VMWare and a spare copy of Windows XP. I finally find some use of quad core.
  • 8 Hide
    Pei-chen , September 16, 2008 1:42 AM
    EA wants create an industry standard where $60 rents the games 5 times.
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , September 16, 2008 2:07 AM
    4sure, when will these noob rookies ever learn! I agree Fulle they are seriously dumb ******* I too will not buy a copy of RA3 SPECIFICALLY because it DOES have DRM! Laughing $tock and they sit in their plush gold plated dog houses wondering "....hmmmm why won't they buy our crap? Why are they cracking our software???!!!" Well why rent a piece of crap for $60 bucks? If I'm only going to install it 5 times well then.... why not just use a crack? Save me a $60 dollar rental fee ....sheeesh no brainer. (and they got degrees and education with lots of money but still tryn 2 figure this one out)
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 16, 2008 2:07 AM
    4sure, when will these noob rookies ever learn! I agree Fulle they are seriously dumb ******* I too will not buy a copy of RA3 SPECIFICALLY because it DOES have DRM! Laughing $tock and they sit in their plush gold plated dog houses wondering "....hmmmm why won't they buy our crap? Why are they cracking our software???!!!" Well why rent a piece of crap for $60 bucks? If I'm only going to install it 5 times well then.... why not just use a crack? Save me a $60 dollar rental fee ....sheeesh no brainer. (and they got degrees and education with lots of money but still tryn 2 figure this one out)
  • 8 Hide
    xxsk8er101xx , September 16, 2008 2:33 AM
    i'm still not buying it.

    I don't want a rootkit on my computer period! I can live without it.

    For people who don't understand - Securom is a kit that "Roots" itself into your OS. Causing certain things to fail and not work properly anymore. it also leaves a huge hole in your security where a hacker can gain total control of your computer. Read EA using your computer to send you ADs.

    This is in fact what EA is doing. This has been proven in previous court cases.

    Now if you still want that on YOUR computer that YOU own by all means install it and watch as your computer crashes. Even reports of drives failing entirely.
  • 2 Hide
    xxsk8er101xx , September 16, 2008 2:36 AM
    chaohsiangchen

    Virtual PC 2007 works alright too. It's free.
  • 6 Hide
    eklipz330 , September 16, 2008 3:13 AM
    these dudes don't get that its not the limit that gets the consumers mad, its THE FACT THERE IS ONE... i mean sure, if it was like 100re-installs, than hey, WHY NOT. but seriously, don't act like you care by adding to more installs on the game. another game on my pee-on list.
  • 7 Hide
    falchard , September 16, 2008 3:38 AM
    The EA Boycott continues. EA prepare for another crappy 1 star review on all shopping networks.
  • 4 Hide
    3Ball , September 16, 2008 4:17 AM
    I so badly want this game and have already paid for it at my local gamestop, but will now have to go move my money to another title without this invasive software.
  • 6 Hide
    mdillenbeck , September 16, 2008 5:19 AM
    I support a full boycott of EA. No EA games - console, PC, or pirated version (because if I am unwilling to pay for it, I shouldn't play it). I will not relent until they remove their restrictive policies on all products.

    To those considering virtualization, a few recommendations:

    1) Use VMWare Workstation 6.5 beta, which supports DX9, with linux or Windows systems; VMWare fusion with Macs. Your hardware profile will be "generic", so if you upgrade your system you won't initiate a reactivation. Better yet, if the image is on an external hard drive or network share, you can move the image and thus access your XP game station from several different computers!

    2) Use Symantec Altiris SVS 2.1 to virtualize the install - its free for personal use. This program captures file and registry structures and allows you to turn them on or off. With a global capture, all that crap (such as SecuROM) can be turned off when the game is not in use! Talk about an easy uninstall. Better yet, you can create a VSA (virtual software archive) and back it up - that if your image gets corrupted, reinstallation is really reimportation and won't trigger an activation! (Also, unlike other application virtualization solutions, capturing an install is not complicated - it is as difficult as installing the application normally.)
  • 5 Hide
    virtualban , September 16, 2008 9:09 AM
    The EA Boycott continues. EA prepare for another crappy 1 star review on all shopping networks.

    Me too!
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , September 16, 2008 10:00 AM
    I would say get the torrent, see if it's worth the money and buy if it's so, BUT STILL, use the f**king crack. The devs can't do anything about it and all that work MUST be respected. Boycott the game if you feel so but don't expect to have quality games in the future.

    I miss the shareware days were you could play 1/3(5) of the game for free and then decide if it's worth it. I remember Doom 1, the first chapter was free!!! Wanna play more ? Then pay. I to developed games and I to know what monstrous amount of work is put into.

    I think this BS has gone to far. There will always be thieves, murderers etc. but this doesn't mean that everyone is and this doesn't mean everyone should be treated like one.

    Anyway, there will always be a bigger and better gun to break a bigger and better shield and the reverse. At least some guys get a brain workout on both sides.
  • 3 Hide
    truehighroller , September 16, 2008 11:32 AM
    Does it mention the root kits in the installation instructions? If not then I say we all sue them, as someone said about Spore.
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